Ukrainian members of the international force in Kosovo were wounded in clashes in the north with Serb protesters.

Interior Minister of Ukraine Yuri Lutsenko claimed this to journalists in Symferopol today.

“15 were wounded, one of them is in a grave condition”, Yuri Lutsenko said.

According to him, the wounded Ukrainian peacemaker is transported to a hospital.

“This is a serious state of emergency for us. This happened [with Ukrainian] for the first time in the course of the peacemaking mission at the territory of Kosovo”, he noted.

Lutsenko said the Ukrainians had been working together with the French police "of whom, about two dozen have been injured", and that a French military division was on its way to help.

Ukraine has contributed 155 police and 182 military personnel to the peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

According to Radio Netherlands, on Monday Serb demonstrators in Mitrovica in Kosovo have fired on United Nations and NATO peacekeepers. The incidents occurred after UN police ended the occupation by Serbs of a court building in the city. At least 28 UN and NATO peacekeepers have been injured.

The Serbs are protesting against the independence of Kosovo, formerly a province of Serbia. Earlier today about 500 UN officers entered the court building after NATO troops cordoned off the surrounding area.